Monday, December 10, 2007

Legislative Update

Do you really trust these guys to make the right decisions about your money? If not, fire them.

Property Taxes

Naples News - Sen. Saunders: Don't expect state to pass further property tax breaks

"I don’t believe there will be much appetite in the Florida legislature to do anything additional," said Saunders, R-Naples. "I think the Legislature will stand down this coming year."


It isn’t just property taxes — it’s also property insurance, he said, and he noted the struggling state of the state’s economy — something he doesn’t expect will improve right away.


Ocala Star Banner - A storm despite the calm

Florida's property insurers will pocket $3.4 billion this year, which promises to be another record-setter for many insurance companies, according to Associated Press reports. That's on top of $3 billion they made in 2006, for a two-year total of $6.4 billion.

In response Robert Hartwig, head of the industry group the Insurance Information Institute, pointed out that Florida's claims from the multiple storms in 2004 and '05 cost insurers $13.1 billion, meaning they are $6.7 billion in the hole. We're curious if that's for the industry as a whole in Florida, or just the companies that didn't flee the state when they got hit with all these claims.

In addition, Sam Miller, executive vice president of the Florida Insurance Council, explained why our rates won't drop: "You have to make money during the years there are no hurricanes," he told the AP.

Clear enough now? Lots of storms, premiums go up to pay claims. No storms, premiums go up - albeit maybe by not as much - to pay claims. Even here in the middle of the state.

Lakeland Ledger - Businesses now have coverage option in Citizens Insurance

Citizens Insurance is the state-run insurer of last resort. Typically, homeowners - and now business owners - get their property insurance through Citizens when they can't obtain it through other carriers due to the age of their property, construction type, the property's location in a high-risk area or failure to meet other insurers' eligibility guidelines.

What happens to the state budget if we get hit by one or more hurricanes?

Tax Reform

Florida Emerald Coast - State tax commission gets an earful

The 25-member commission can place proposed constitutional amendments directly on the ballot. Several people at the meeting were convinced that the board could bring about tax reform the Florida Legislature has failed to provide.

"Give Floridians a choice. Our legislators have proven they cannot do this," said Adam Guillette, the head of Florida’s chapter of Americans for Prosperity, who pushed for a "taxpayer protection amendment."

"You are our only hope."

We need to make the tax system more fair, which will reduce the tax burden for those who need it most, while still generating the necessary revenue to provide the services the public expects. Make sure your legislator is talking about actual tax reform, not merely tauting tax cuts for their own short-term political gain.

Legislative Delegation

Okaloosa County - Members of the delegation are holding a public meeting from 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 18. The meeting will take place in room 128 of the Okaloosa-Walton College campus.

See Calendar

Contact your local legislative delegation to find out about meetings in your area: Contact information for all County Legislative Delegations